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Council of Fashion Designer Honorees

October 11, 2017

Two 2017 alumnae from our Fashion Design program, Lela Thompson and Anna Sajeski, were named Design Graduate talents for 2017 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). CFDA+ is a curated platform to spotlight exemplary graduating talent, identifying top-tier graduate and undergraduate students from a community of invited colleges on a global basis. Designers who are awarded this coveted recognition receive a one year profile-based showcase on, visible to the CFDA Membership community of 500+ leading American designers. Additionally, the CFDA collaborates with Floriane de Saint Pierre's Paris-based Eyes on Talents, which will generously spotlight CFDA+ and provide the talent with unique global exposure.

In Sajeski's work, the Pennsylvania native craves the color, pattern, and texture that reflect the diverse and colorful world around her, while Thompson balances the use of high-tech materials such as machine knitting, laser cuttings, and 3D printing, with hand-manipulation to create beautiful and unique materials. Thompson represented Wespthal as a participant in the annual, highly selective SUPIMA design competition, and her work has been featured in Italian Vogue.

Jackie Kilmartin, a Philadelphia based designer who joined our Fashion Design program as an Assistant Teaching Professor just last year, mentored both students in knitwear, utilizing the recently acquired, state of the art Shima Seiki SSR 112 variable gauge electronic weft knitting machine and the three SDS-1 Apex 3 computer design stations that accompany it. In the past year, these crucial additions to our design facility has expanded our weft knitting and knitwear capabilities, reflecting the $200 billion industry that produced nearly 20% of all garments sold annually.  

To learn more about our Fashion program, click here. Want to see Thompson and Sajeski's work on the runway? Click here for Fashion '17 coverage.